JPFO Alerts


Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

October 17, 2001

Are Law-Abiding People Being Fooled?

California is Going Down the Tubes -- What Are We Going to Do About It?

It should come as no surprise to anyone when I say that nearly all bad laws in general and anti-gun laws in particular are hatched in the Golden State. Yesterday, California gun owners had more of the same forced down their throats. Gov. Gray Davis signed into law AB35 and SB52. The bills are quite similar, one drawn up by the state assembly and the other by the state senate. Both have done what the Golden State Bill of Rights shredders have wanted for years -- licensing of handgun owners. Handshakes all around in Sacramento, the new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2003. See

for the whole stomach turning story.

Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Joe Laria and Ms. Jennifer Fry, the directors of the Liberty Belles (, a California offshoot of Second Amendment Sisters (

We met to discuss what gun owners could do to regain the Second Amendment in the most populous state in America. Everything anti-Second Amendment starts on the Left Coast and works its way east. The eyes of every state legislature are on Sacramento. If you want a political weather prediction you need only look to your Left. It'll blow your way -- perhaps a little, perhaps a lot -- in due season.

Mr. Laria's and Ms. Fry's question to me was what I thought could, or should, be done. Fair enough. I have no shortage of opinions. They emphasized that their group wanted to present itself as mainstream and law abiding.

Very nice.

I then proceeded to explain that, in my opinion, the mere fact that you own a gun takes you out of the mainstream of America today. Don't lecture me about how many households in the country have guns or how many times each day a gun is used in self defense. If you are a gun owner you are out of the mainstream. Get over it.

Secondly, how many laws, all of which are flagrant violations of the Second Amendment, are you willing to have crammed past your esophagus before you decide to stop being so damned law abiding? Which of the other nine amendments require a license? If I keep shoving you farther and farther backward without you holding your ground, you'll eventually back into something solid with no more room to retreat.

Then what?

How many elections must we suffer through, watching gun grabber after gun grabber get elected in this great bastion of socialism, and then vow to "get one of our guys in the next time!"?

How many more ineffectual letters, phone calls and e-mails to our representatives and the governor need to be written, called or mouse clicked? One million? Five million?

The answer is that no amount of grassroots activism is working in California, and don't feel so smug if you live elsewhere. The winds blow east.

"But we can't tell our members to violate the law!" How many laws are you willing to obey? And when the final law banning firearms ownership is passed, punishable by fines and imprisonment, will you obey that also?

"Leaving California is chicken ****. Only 6% of California gun owners are really involved in political activism. If we leave that's the ball game." Fine! So, since your letters, phone calls, election campaigning, rallies, marches, petitions, websites and your Aunt Mildred who knows someone in the state assembly are all spitting into the wind what do you plan to do??

And so my opinion was rendered. Ask the necessary questions and get your listeners to arrive at the obvious conclusions by themselves.

Again, California is the pulse of the nation. And I don't say this with any pride whatsoever.

"Mainstream" and "law abiding".

As a gun owner you are, despite all your protestations, not the former.

How many laws will you gag on before you can no longer tolerate being the latter?

Yours in freedom,
Rabbi R. Mermelstein and the Liberty Crew

ADDENDUM October 18, 2001:

To our members and supporters:

Yesterday's Alert, Are Law-Abiding People Being Fooled? (, left a few readers wondering why I posed so many questions without providing a solution.

I've learned far more from our readers and visitors to than I've ever taught them, so I know better than to consider myself intellectually superior to anyone.

The answer, as I intended, was built into the rhetorical questions.

I am suggesting nothing less than civil disobedience.

Henry David Thoreau wrote an essay about it in 1849! In occupied Denmark in the 1940's it was read by the Danish resistance, in the 1950's it was cherished by people who opposed McCarthyism, in the 1960's it was influential in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and in the 1970's it was discovered by a new generation of anti-war activists. The lesson learned from all this experience is that Thoreau's ideas really do work, just as he imagined they would.

For the full text of Thoreau's essay, see

In liberty,
Rabbi R. Mermelstein

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